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Haviland is one of the world's leading luxury manufacturer of Limoges porcelain.
The Haviland manufacture is associated with the golden age of Limoges porcelain and is one of the last porcelain factories to confect and decorate each of their collections in Limoges. This explains why they were awarded the «Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant » (Live Heritage Business) award.
American David Haviland was a New York-based importer/exporter who recognized the quality of French porcelains and wished to import them for an American clientele.
While others were selling French wares, and this story is a little romantic, David Haviland fully recognized the quality of French wares and decide to change his import business completely by only bringing in French porcelains. He committed by moving to France in 1842 and by sending wares directly to his brothers who remained in New York. He quickly realized that to get the wares that he wanted that were palatable to an American consumer he would need to open his own factory and to control the decorating process himself. Their new company was called Haviland Brothers & Company.
Due to Haviland Brothers & Company’s market success, by 1853 they were the largest importer of French porcelain into the United States. The porcelain of Haviland has attracted famous designers and artists. The most skilled designers of their time, Dali, Kandinsky, Suzanne Lalique, Cocteau are all part of Haviland’s rich history. The greatest Courts of the World and important Heads of State cannot resist the lure of Haviland porcelain. In the United States, Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, and Roosevelt have commissioned Haviland designs. In France, Empress Eugenie, Presidents Raymond Poincarre, Georges Daladier, General de Gaulle and current President Jacques Chirac, have selected Haviland. Faithful Haviland devotees also include the Queen Maria Pia of Portugal, the Emperor Guillaume II, the Emperor of Japan, the Royal Court of Morocco.
Haviland is used at the Ritz Hotel and sublimates traditional French food. The decorations are applied by brush and the gold, platinum and coloured lines are hand-painted. A visual delight, the collections are available with white, flowered, animal and relief decorations and the most prestigious are gold-incrusted. Haviland & Co. is still operating as Haviland Company, though the facilities are now modernized and now sell silverware, crystal, and giftware in addition to porcelain. Many of the older pieces are still in existence and are desirable as an antique or collectable. It is estimated that there are as many as 60,000 Haviland porcelain patterns, though it is difficult to determine as many of the patterns have never been formally named or catalogued, and factory records are incomplete.
Haviland has produced many prominent pieces, including: a "solferino" (purple bordered) hard-paste service in 1861 for use in the White House during the administration of Abraham Lincoln.